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Thread: Torn bicep?

  1. #1
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    Torn bicep?

    I tore my right one in my wreck over 4 yrs ago. Now I'm experiencing the same pain in my left just not as severe. It is an awful pain that doesn't let up from my shoulder to my wrist & into my thumb. I've tried increasing my anti-inflammatory but have had no improvement. I want to avoid chasing my tail in circles to find the cause, esp. if there's no fix. I'm pretty sure it just had to heal on its own but I can't remember. Any others experience this?

  2. #2
    That's what one of the torn tendons in my arm feels like. It's at the top of my right bicep and really limits my external rotation. I hope you didn't tear anything. You better get your doctor and get it figured out.
    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

  3. #3
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    I called my dr. He said if it were truley torn, it would be bruised & I'd have a buldge in my armpit. He thinks it's definitely strained & to keep it iced, massaged & to keep taking the Voltaren twice daily, then come in if not a little better w/in a week. The kicker was to limit use of my arm..um ok, that should be easy considering I need both arms for just about everything! Painkillers aren't touching the pain either. Thanks, Ryan!

  4. #4
    I had a distal bicep tendon rupture last Aug. and it was ripped completely from the bone just below my elbow, no bulges or bruising. You better go to a hand/arm specialist and get it checked.
    "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    i would have to agree with DE up there and get this MRIed? your primary should be able to at the very least try and run you through ALL ROMS that shoulder simply has along with the ones that would mort utilize that bicep too? if you simply 'can't go there or the pain becomes way too overwhelming, THAT creates that very real need to have this much more deeply evaluated with at least MRI.

    becasue our muscles have such a low blood supply to even begin with, any realistic 'healing" is going to take alot of time and 'nonuse' in a sling at the very least? with your situation and simply NEEDING that arm the way you do, i cannot see just how that could even occur depending upon just how this is, or even 'if" really even torn? if it tears along WITH the way the muscle fibers run, thats a plus(best chance of healing if the fibers are just kinda pulled apart without surgical intervention), but if this happened to tear mid muscle or tore away from an achor point with a ligament or tendon. surgical repair is about your only really true option unfortunetly. simply having an MRI done on that whole entire rotator cuff would show any of the bad spots in the very best way.

    over the years, and just the way you have had to even use that arm/shoulder at all, just can create very specific types of damage in there that really DO need some type of possible arthroscopic repair(just much much less invasive)? but you would still be left dealing with very restricted movement by yourself while things healed too? its just the nature of the beast? you just would have to set some types of plans into place if ANY surgical intervention of any kind is simply warrented by MRI?

    but either way, you seriously DO really need that MRI done to simply show what really just IS going on within that whole entire rotator cuff area and see if there is any other damage in there too? you would be shocked at what just can get torn up in that area only from wear and tear over the years, and esp with the same repetitive movements being used in the very same way over time? i really do think that given your description of esp the painkillers not even touching this, or the anti inflams and just the way you have had to use this at all over ALOT of time. i do think your doc IS wrong about what anyones real 'injurys" to muscle or even the tendons in there that are needed for true ROM too, can even present like in any given individual? alot also depends upon the exacting location of muscle tears or tendon ruptures too. but the MRI would most definitely show that rotator in all the best ways, and that bicep too. since we are not all built the same, with the exact same amount of real muscle in all areas, we will not always even 'present' the very same way with any given injury either kinda thing?

    the one thing about that rotator area is if there just really IS something "only' torn, and not fully snapped yet, if not fixed appropriately, other structures within it will start to "try and compensate for the failing area, and then you are left dealing with a much much more in depth issue than you just started out with at the beginning? this is what happened to me with my tendons in there. i just did NOT realize how bad the very top tendon was til my MRI showed the top fully snapped by that time and actually the ends retracted awy from each other and the one directly underneath it already having started to tear partially too, and all among other wear and tear crap that also needed clearing too? that one on top had slowly been tearing on me without me knowing, and as this simply became worse, that one directly below it also showed it had simply started that compensation and was ALSO by that time starting to also tear too? i just had had on and off pain over the years when lifting and some burning from time to time, but never dreamed i was actually 'tearing' anything til it simply snapped on me one morning as i was only lifting my purse off the top of my fridge(much less than even ten lbs)? i immediately felt pain and also lost ROM like right then and there too(had to drop that purse in 'mid lift up' and could NOT lift that purse up for the life of me cuz that particular "lifting" ROM just went bye bye on me at the time of 'snappage'.

    while if they DO happen to find something actually torn within that critical rotator cuff area or ANY of the crucial muscles running into that arm. you will simply have to, despite you current status and need, seriously get all that fixed. it is sooo much better for you in the long run having to have that enforced 'downtime' which i KNOW is a big deal for you(but you CAN get thru this with temp help too), but right now, you are simply looking at potential trade offs if there IS something there that shows up that needs fixing and by NOT doing anything simply WILL incapacitate that possible entire arm more permanently or require a major much more in depth surgery when you cannot actually use it at all anymore,vs just biting that bullet, accepting the situation for now and get it done, ya know what i mean?

    if i were you, and things have NOT changed at all here yet, see that primary again and simply ask for a full shoulder/rotator cuff MRI to be done. THEN and only then would you truely have any real idea of exactly what you are dealing with here. and if ANYTHING has actually even "started" to tear, get that fixed asap while its still in the 'smaller stage" vs fuller or total, since it WILL continue to simply tear as time goes by til it does snap like things did on me in there(this just is a very progressive type of injury to even have), which just very much IS a much more painful type of surgery to deal with and much longer rehab time too. good luck quad, and i DO hope things are not as bad as you think right now. but that MRI at this point just really IS a badly needed thing so YOU just know and can make decisions accordingly. just do not allow your doc to send you for a mere x ray or CT for these deeper types of needed pics, it HAS to be an MRI to really even see what simply needs to be seen in there in all the very best ways. please DO keep us posted. sorry to sound so gloom and doom. i did NOT know all this stuff either til all the crap started to hit my lil fan one fine morning. marcia

  6. #6
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    I'm sorry I left this thread just hanging, oops. I read Robin's post & remembered his whole ordeal so went for tests. It isn't torn, that's good. However, I have severe arthritis throughout the arm. I'm back to taking my Voltaren 2x a day which I hope doesn't flare up stomach issues. I'm also doing massage. It still hurts like hell & actually hurts worse @ night. I have to keep it propped. I feel old.

  7. #7
    Accupuncture and massage has really helped my arms Q. I go for ultrasounds on Weds. for the shoulders. The accupuncture has really made a difference.

  8. #8
    well thats good it was not torn. did they actually do that whole rotator MRI on you then? the fact that this becomes worse at night kind of is an indicator that other areas within that rotator could simply also be affected, thats all. arthritis would be more of a deeper type of bone pain/ache/throb? is this what you have or is there more 'soreness' to it and not only in that bicep area, or even IN the "bone" levels? or actual 'burning' going on? i am just hoping for your sake and in that longer run for your own mobility to simply continue as normal that they DID at least rule out any level of rotator cuff issues. its just catching the tears in what makes up that rotator cuff area of tendon/muscle or even certain ligaments would be alot less invasive and less healing time, and of course less painful if any tear is caught early as possible and easily repaired. your overall pain there just really sounds like it is just still way too over the top right now as well? has that pain gotten ANY better at all? just looking out for YOU quad. i DO hope everything is simply "okay" in that whole shoulder. rotator cuff tears within that shoulder are just sooo sneaky til they reach that certain point that makes them truely 'present themselves" with increased levels of pain and losses of ROM start to appear? marcia

  9. #9
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    firesmurf, my mind has been rolling. To me, it getting worse by laying on it definitely sounds like a shoulder injury. I'm going to request do-overs. I do have a deep, throbbing pain mostly now from right above my elbow to my wrist. It isn't sore to the touch just worsened w/ pressure to my shoulder; laying down. It actually feels better when deeply massaged(my arm).I don't have any kind of neuropathy or loss of function(other than normal for my level), but I do now also have more spastic pain & finger spasms. When I do pressure reliefs though, I do get a firey feeling & my wrist feels like it wants to just cave. Thanks.

  10. #10
    quad, just what level is your spinal cord injury at, and is what you are describing ANYTHING close to something you have actually experienced before, even in a smaller way at some point(within that arm)? or is this like totally 'new" for you? the one thing i found with my crappy rotator is like a year before that supraspinatus(the very top tendon and the most commonly torn becasue it just gets used WAY more often than the rest)totally snapped on me, was a solid soreness ONLY at the bicep area, just THAT area was sore for like at least that year? i had NO new loss of anything within my hand or fingers as far as what would have appeared more radiculopathic (except more spastic activity in the ulnar innervated fingers), just a ton of real pain up in my shoulder, loss of ROM and that insane soreness IN that bicep area that never ever seemed to actually radiate anywhere but "there"?

    the thing here is that all those c spine nerves that simply DO innervate down to the hand from that mid to lower end of the c spine all have to run thru that shoulder area too before they go down the arm? so anything IS possible with individual presentation? i just really do think for your sake and your long term mobility when considering everything here, that getting at least that rotator and also the c spine MRI done would more than likely at least show 'something" that simply is not 'right' possibly in both or only one of those particular areas.

    and that c 8 and the T 1 also do run in a very patchy distribution down that arm too,with only that c 8(ulnar) reaching the last two fingers but the T 1 is still considered part of that brachial plexus only because it too goes down that arm with innervation but stops short of like the wrist area so it does not go further down into the hand/fingers like c 8 just does? i just happen to have central pain in what the outline of the c 8 and t 1 dermatomes actually are short of that wrist with the c 8 but have only sensory loss in those last two fingers and no CP at all(like i just DO have in that elbow area) thank god, but it does 'fit' thoes derms exactly? thats the only reason i know where that T 1 stops and the very patchy distribution of that T 1 and the c 8 BEFORE it actually reaches that level of the last two fingers? otherwise, alot of 'guessin" would be goin on, but when its screamin, well, you know.

    i would simply see if you can get that rotator and that c spine done kind of at the very same time since these two particular areas just can tend to mimic each other, esp with already existing c spine damage like i have too, and make it 'appear" to be something its not, but actually stemming from within that rotator with an added c spine impact component as well? that just IS what this really sounds like to me anyways having had that same "feeling"(bicep) that DID "magically' go away post repair? if i had not actually felt just what IS even possible quad when my rotator was playing a huge part in what i was actually feeling, i would not be telling you to at the very LEAST, check out both of those areas with MRI at the very same time to see what may just be behind your underlying symptoms? many many people who have actual rotator cuff injuries also have at least "some" level of c spine goin on too so things just do NOT get picked up on til after the snap of a tendon loses ROM or simply creates a very profound pain response with certain ROMS being tried during an eval on it? THAT just was my particular case, definitely.

    if you simply were not having to use your arms as part of your legs, this would not be AS potentially impactful. but the constant, and sometimes overuse of that rotator just so you even HAVE mobility here would be the perfect set up for possible tesrs that you do NOT want to let go til snap time comes but get identified and fixed only with the possible arthoscopic approach and not the in depth level of deep 'fix' i had to go thru, ya know what i mean? it just needs ruling in or out right now before things just will become worse with more use and time goes by? at least get this area fully 'cleared' quad, just so YOU know. i just 'assumed" that the pain was indeed my c spine and never my damn shoulder til snappo that one morning. my my was THAT ever a lil eye opener to my day. right now, you just NEED to know just exactly what is generating what quad. good luck and please DO keep me posted, Marcia

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